• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Women’s World Cup: Nigeria up against co-host Australia Thursday

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Following a goalless draw against Canada, Nigerians have urged the Super Falcons to go all out against co-host nation Australia in their second Group B match at the Lang Park Stadium on Thursday 27 July (11am Nigeria time).

Australia currently top the group with three points with Nigeria and Canada on one point apiece.

Bookmakers rate Australia high on 70 percent win probability against Nigeria’s 10 percent, and a 20 percent chance of playing out a draw.

Australia has a better head-to-head record over Nigeria having won the Super Falcons 2-0 on June 12, at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

However, the nine-time African champions are looking forward to what would certainly be an interesting encounter with the Matildas.

With suspended regulars Rasheedat Ajibade and Halimatu Ayinde now available for selection, the Super Falcons are expected to surprise the bookmakers coupled with versatile Jennifer Echegini and strong forward Desire Oparanozie also keen to get some actions.

“With the two suspended players now back in contention, I think the Super Falcons will play better than we saw against Canada,” said Henry Okonkwo, a sport analyst in Lagos.

According to him, the Super Falcons have what it takes to beat Australia as long as they are able to improve their performance in comparison with the group opener.

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“Our Super Falcons have proven over the years that they are one of the best football teams in the world, and they have what it takes to compete at the highest level. Their success, strength, passion, and unwavering spirit are an inspiration to us all,” Adia Sowho, the chief marketing officer, MTN Nigeria, said in support of the Super Falcons.

Super Falcons captain Onome Ebi, told thenff.com on the team’s return to Brisbane that they are in very high spirits ahead of their second group match.

“The Aussies will not be easy, but we knew before arriving in Australia that no team at this tournament will be easy,” Ebi said.

Super Falcons defender Osinachi Ohale on her part said the team cannot afford to miss good chances any longer.

“It is a tournament and we have decided to take it one game at a time. We have to go back and correct certain lapses, like how to convert our opportunities,”

The Super Falcons, who face hosts Australia on 27 July and the Republic of Ireland on Monday 31 July, will be aiming to surpass their best World Cup performance, which came in 1999, when they reached the quarterfinals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.